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Family business roundup: American Greetings, Wal-Mart and Hero MotoCorp

American Greetings Corporation returns to full family ownership, Wal-Mart mulls bid for Hong Kong supermarket chain, and Indian family firm announces expansion plans.

American Greetings Corporation returns to full family ownership, Wal-Mart mulls bid for Hong Kong supermarket chain, and Indian family firm announces expansion plans.

American Greetings Corporation
American Greetings Corporation has returned to private ownership, following a $612 million (€458 million) buyout by the Weiss family – descendants of Jacob Sapirstein who founded the company in 1906.

Approved at a special shareholders meeting on August 7, the transaction sees shares, purchased for $19 each, delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

President and chief operating officer Jeff Weiss said, "Our family has guided the company for more than 100 years and we are excited to see American Greetings return to its roots as a family-owned business."

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, the company last year generated revenues $1.7 billion. AGC was first listed in 1952.

ParknShop
US-based family firm Wal-Mart is reportedly mulling a bid for a Hong Kong supermarket business, owned by another family owned firm – Hutchinson Whampoa.

According to Reuters, Wal-Mart is working with an unknown bank to weigh its options for the ParknShop supermarket chain before its preliminary bid deadline on August 16.

Last year, Wal-Mart revealed plans to boost its mainland China business by opening an additional 100 stores. It already has 380 stores across the country, including Sam’s Clubs, Supercenters and Neighbourhood Markets.

ParknShop, owned by Hong Kong’s wealthiest entrepreneur Li Ka-shing, operates 345 stores in Hong Kong, mainland China and Macau, and last year had revenues of HK$21.7 billion (€2.1 billion).

Hero MotoCorp
India-based family-controlled company Hero MotoCorp has announced plans to expand its production.

By 2020, the company says, it will be operational in 50 countries and will have 20 manufacturing facilities. It also hopes to have produced a further 50 million vehicles, having just celebrated its first 50 million this month.

Hero MotoCorp says by the end of the year it will have launched its brand in 10 more international markets, and by next year will have six assembly facilities spread across three continents.

Part of Hero Group, which is controlled by the Munjal family, the company was founded in 1984 and has annual turnover of $4 billion. 

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